Rate and Reasons for Cancellation of Elective Surgery at Srinagarind Hospital

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Darunee Tangwancharoen
Panaratana Ratanasuwan Yimyaem
Krittiya Wanphon
Charinee Prajunnuan
Nathee Maneewan
Raruen Saenkhot


Background and Objective: Cancellation of elective surgery leads to an inefficient use of operating room time and a waste of resources. It can also affect to patients and their families in terms of cost and emotional involvement. This study aims to determine rate and reasons for cancellation of elective surgery at Srinagarind hospital.

Methods: This prospective descriptive study in elective surgical patients whom were scheduled  between June 1, 2012 and September 30, 2012 at Srinagarind hospital. The total number of patients as well as the number of cancellation cases were daily recorded. The reasons for cancellation were explored by interviewing the surgeons, anesthesiologists and scrub nurses who were responsible in the cancellation case. The reasons were divided into three groups according to the main factors; group 1: patient’s factor, group 2: doctor’s factor and group 3: hospital service’s factor.

Results: Cancellation was recorded in 81 out of 4,016 patients scheduled for elective surgery which resulted in 2.02% (95% CI: 1.6%-2.5%) cancellation rate. Most of the cases were from department of general surgery. The main reasons for cancellation were from doctors (87.7%), patients (11.1%) and hospital services (1.2%). List overrun was the most common reason in the doctor group while, in the patient group, the reason were associated medical problems which were fever and infection.

Conclusion: The cancellation rate of elective surgery  was 2.02% at Srinagarind hospital. List overrun was the most common reason. Although the cancellation rate was low in comparison with the reported rates worldwide, the reductions might be achieved by appropriate strategies to prevent unnecessary cancellation.

Keywords: Surgical cancellation, Surgical postpone


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